As a family we absolutely love board games. Now the boys are getting older they have moved towards bigger and better titles. We were thrilled to review Pandemic: Rising Tide. We have previously played the original Pandemic over the last year and it has been a real hit. So we had high hopes for this version.
For any of you out there that does not know about Pandemic. It’s a co-operative board game seeing you set to cure the world from impending doom in the form of four different viruses. You can predetermine the difficulty level to match the players ability or overall challenge you want to face. Typically it takes around 45 minutes to an hour to complete (or fail!)
So on to Rising Tide, which is quite a different game in essence this time its problems with flooding not diseases.
Pandemic: Rising Tide Setup
Set-up itself on first glance looks rather complex but once you have your first game under your belt it becomes second nature. The first thing to do is put all 50 of the dikes on the red dike markers, then place the water on the predetermined regions. Quite handily the board has reminder markers on it so you do not have to navigate the instructions each time you set up. Make sure all the water cubes, pumping station and ports are within reach of all players.
Player characters are picked at random from a shuffled deck and pieces placed on the starting region. Next shuffle the event cards with the region cards to form the player deck. At this point I then deal the cards to the players (keeping them face up!). Once this has been done it time to shuffle in the Storm cards. Chose however many you want for the desired difficulty!
From there it has a quite similar feel to that of Pandemic, draw three cards from the Dike Failure cards and degrade the region. This action means to take away a Dike from the board of the region or to add an additional water cube. Up to a maximum of three, exceeding this does no do anything at this point. Do the same for the next three cards but only degrade by two and then by one for the next three cards drawn.
Once all this has occurred then you need to do the initial water flow. This is done by finding all regions with three cubes on and flooding the surrounding regions up to two cubes. Only applicable if there are not dikes blocking the way. Do the same then for the regions with two cubes in up to a maximum of one cube. You have to remember at this point that water only flows down so any high-elevation region does not need a dike to block the flow.
Now you are ready to play the game!
Pandemic: Rising Tide Game Play:
The aim in the game is to build all four of the hydraulic structures. There are variants but I will stick to the basic for now! In order to build the structure you need to collect five player cards of the same region colour. Once you have them you need to head for it’s location to build it.
Each turn consists of four actions. Followed by Operating the pumps, drawing two player cards (and resolving storms), dikes fail and then water flows. Once a player has completed their rotation play moves onto the next player and so forth.
You lose if either you run out of water cubes or your unable to draw the two player cards required.
Pandemic: Rising Tide Summary:
On our first go we got completely owned not even lasting a complete player rotation. But savage defeats like this just spur you on to want to conquer the game. For me this will be a title I will be going back to for a challenge. Not just for me but us all as a family! Pandemic: Rising Tide has an RRP of £46.99
Available to buy from https://www.365games.co.uk/strategy-board-games/pandemic-rising-tide (currently at £36.99!), as well as your local friendly game shop: http://www.findyourgamestore.co.uk/
For one lucky reader you can win a copy just enter via the gleam below, ends midnight 28/04/2018.